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Tarq

Retrogression

58 posts in this topic

dFrSYvB.png

Abstract:

 

A concept game, of sorts.

Follow Will as he engages with four distinct realities across three acts. Each reality abides by its own rules, with new, relevant, mechanics overwriting the old.


Story / Setting / Purpose:

 

The first act is notable for establishing two distinct realities, a hyper-reality with a game reality inside it, and then showing the first few instances of blurring between them for Will. Its a very narrative orientated, shorter, act and could better be considered an introduction to the actual game.
When 'playing' Will's real life sequences players have no means of pausing or saving (there is actually an autosave, just to avoid annoying folks), or even controlling Will. Dialogue will be voice-acted and music will be diagetic.
The faux mmo has an action battle system and a few conventional 'skilling' systems, like smithing, cooking and fishing.

The second act takes the realistic setting of the first and imposes a game-like structure. As a sandbox the player is able to explore the real world as a game. Distinguishing characteristics of this act are:
-No levelling; stats are decided largely through choice of equipment, which in turn is regulated through money. Will's sprite also changes to reflect his current equipment.
-Weapon durability; things break if you don't look after them.
-A first person battle system without any health bars or such; you gauge your own health by the shade of the screen, and
your enemies health by its changing graphic. Health recovers over time, you can't just drink a potion.
-Hunger, thirst, and tiredness meters; real life can kill you in more ways than one.
-All the inconveniences of real life :3 ; areas can only be accessed at coherent times, pick an item off the shelf and carry it to the shopworker, learn skills by reading, etc.
 
The final act will be a traditional dungeon crawl and, while it will be the most recognisable of all the acts as an actual rpg, it could better be considered as reality reasserting itself; with the wildly high fantasy being offset by exploration of some of the darker tropes in games. While less developed than the other acts, here are some of its features;
-Eight classes that can each utilise two distinct playstyles.
-'Traditional' sideview combat. No ATB though; time is a thing of the past!
-Varied level design, including the rather risky 'assymetrical dungeon'.
-Weapon Augmentation.
-Everyone's favourite; Achievements!


Character Bios:

 

post-42997-0-51746700-1435052505_thumb.png
This is Will. Will is the protagonist and only playable character of this story. Lacking ambition but simultaneously discontent with his circumstances, Will often finds himself retreating to his MMO. Its a game he no longer finds much pleasure in, lacking challenge and being familiar with almost all content. It does, however, provide him with the sense of control that he is lacking in his real life.

He is designed to look as 'average joe' as possible, although perhaps the suit wasn't the best of his 'armors' to have equipped for this end.

post-42997-0-65007700-1435052504_thumb.png
This is Tarquinius Superbus; He is Will's game character and, as such, can be better considered as an extension of Will's personality, rather than having a distinct one of his own.
The design was intended to be reminiscent of Balmung from the .Hack franchise, to emphasise the kind of relationship Will has with the game.

 

 

Screenshots:

 

q5MTzsZ.png

 

11eEfWs.png

This screen shows the beginnings of the Act II Battle system. The red border indicates damage taken.

 

2lsPLa7.png

Luther's Guns in Act II. Hopefully speech bubbles will be recognised as the intermediary between the voice acting of Act I and the text boxes of Act III.

 

FAmfzyF.png

The Achievement scene in Act III; one of the first scripts I ever did :3

 

 

Credits:

 

Graphics:

Modern Day Tiles Resource Pack - Lunarea

ZombieSurvival Resource Pack - Lunarea

Futuristic Tiles Resource Pack - Celianna
Misc. art resources by David Morgan

 

Audio:

Adventurer's Journey Resource Pack - D.C. Kairi Sawler

 

Everything else:

Your's truly ;)


 

Banner:

 

 

0kvZ4lp.png

If you want to support the project (you darling, you!) then just copy/paste the above image. I've been assured that it'll work, but let me know if it doesn't :)

 

 

Edited by Tarq

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I absolutely love stories like this! The MMO aspect being filled with fantasy and RPG elements, while the real world, still being very much present, can lead to some great story progression outside of the MMO.

Your story looks great so far (the voice acting should be nice to see)! I feel as though, the way you've set it up, that Will's real life personality could intertwine with his In game one, leading him to overcome some his obstacles in life.

 

The gameplay will also be interesting to see how you handle not being able to control Will during the real world parts.

Looking forward to seeing more! =D

Edited by Izu.
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I can definitely see this being worked on, and you have my support.

With the concept however, I mainly worry about two things. One being a consistent feel for gameplay with mechanics changing all the time, and the other being art load - even if you are mostly doing RTP.

Also thinking that a survival meter in real life is over the top. This isn't Fallout, STALKER, or DayZ- unless you're really trying to make a statement about how a game might be adverse to your health, living around shouldn't be a survival experience. How do you balance that? I myself usually have one full meal a day, can Will live a single day like that, can he go without eating anything? If that's the case, and you only need to eat on rare occasion, why even have the mechanic?

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I feel as though, the way you've set it up, that Will's real life personality could intertwine with his In game one, leading him to overcome some his obstacles in life.

Unfortunately, its kind of the reverse. Will uses the game as an escape, a coping mechanism, and doesn't even really enjoy it much; it sometimes actively gets in the way of his life, even. However, when

,

, and

occur in pretty close succession while he is also deprived of that coping mechanism, Will has something of a breakdown.

This leads to Act II where Will has literally nothing to lose (you may have noted his nudity in one shot  ;)  ) and after leading such a successful life ingame, and the praise he received after using a game-like solution to a real world problem a couple of times in the first act, he just kind of starts treating life like it was a videogame. And, tbf, he does enjoy moderate success; Act II is easily the most light-hearted part of the game, until its climax ofc.

 

Kind of went off on a tangent there. Anyways, the duality only occurs in Act I, and only so that the two realities can blend in later acts. Sorry if my post was misleading, I hope you can still enjoy the rest of the game.

 

 

With the concept however, I mainly worry about two things. One being a consistent feel for gameplay with mechanics changing all the time, and the other being art load - even if you are mostly doing RTP.

Also thinking that a survival meter in real life is over the top. This isn't Fallout, STALKER, or DayZ- unless you're really trying to make a statement about how a game might be adverse to your health, living around shouldn't be a survival experience. How do you balance that? I myself usually have one full meal a day, can Will live a single day like that, can he go without eating anything? If that's the case, and you only need to eat on rare occasion, why even have the mechanic?

The change in mechanics is kind of the whole point of the game; the mechanics all exist for narrative purposes, like how the rhyme and metre, the number of lines per stanza, even the number of stanzas can all contribute to the meaning of poem. That was the idea I had in mind at least. Trying to figure out a demo has been a particular pain because I feel that the transition in mechanics is, to swipe a phrase I heard recently, the core gameplay.

 

I made a longwinded post about the bars but I sounded like I wasn't taking your criticism on board so here goes attempt no.2! Act II is 'real life' but with Will imposing game elements on them, its not until the third act that Will's delusions are deep enough to be more recognisably a 'game' rather than 'real life'; and life, fundamentally, is about survival.

 

More directly, from a full bar Will can last three days without food, seven days without water, and however long the average person can last without sleep (I haven't looked into that yet). The days are fairly long, so management of the bars is not too disruptive (which was a concern I shared with you). However, at this point in the story Will's reality is still a lot like our own, and we can not simply choose to ignore these factors either. Not 'til we reach our own third acts anyways :lol:

 

I'm not sure what art load is. But yes, the game is a challenge graphically, particularly since the visual arts are not my forte.

 

 

Anyways, thank you both for taking the time to look at my project. I've put a lot of work into it so it means a lot.

Imagine this expression :wub:  but without all the pink, immasculating, stuff; that's me right now.

 

Edit: I forgot to mention, the reaching of certain levels of thirst, hunger and tiredness have a couple of debuffs associated with them, like disabling running, reducing health regeneration and reducing stats. So yeah, bar management isn't super mandatory, but it certainly helps not to starve the lil fella.

Edited by Tarq
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It's kinda confusing, but I really liked that idea!

I'm looking forward for seeing more and best of luck with that project! =)

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It's kinda confusing, but I really liked that idea!

I totally agree and its all my fault; its a story I've been working on and off for years now and I'm plain old not clever enough to coherently reduce it for these posts. There's a lot of context I just take for granted, I guess.

For lack of better words, I'm forced to keep reusing words like 'reality' in several ways as well, which is even make it confusing for me on re-reading :lol:

 

But I'm glad you like it, its one more reason to actually complete the darn thing at some point.

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Oh no, that won't deter me from playing or enjoying it, just though that might have been where you had meant for it to go. I will definitely play it for when it comes out. =)

Act II is 'real life' but with Will imposing game elements on them, its not until the third act that Will's delusions are deep enough to be more recognizably a 'game' rather than 'real life'; and life, fundamentally, is about survival.

I suddenly got strange memories of a old anime called "Paranoia Agent" to which sort of played with this idea, a guy runs around murdering people thinking them to be monsters of a game in his mind.

 

So I'm a little curious if when you say that, if it'll be similar (probably not, though, it makes for a interesting story development). xp

 

Paranoia-agent-lil-slugger.jpg

 

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@Izu; If I could double like a post I would. I love Paranoia Agent! Its seriously one of the best anime shows out there, and just a great story full stop. I've wanted to better understand the significance of those chalk scratchings at the end for years, but alas, its beyond me.

 

Its a pretty spot on analogy actually; all the enemies in the second act are either human or animals, and its not until the third that the more fantastic creatures make they're appearance. It has been kind of a challenge deciding the third act enemies because I dont know whether to go full-on fantasy (like mythological beasts across multiple cultures) to emphasise Will's delusion or to have them retain some humanlike traits (say, vampires and skeletons) to keep that sinister undertone for the observant player. Which would you say is better?

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Haha, yes! Paranoia Agent, while confusing, covers so many different ongoing story branches. Like the whole incident around the Maromi merchandise, causing many to go insane when they all disappear. Having Maromi being a personified object to Tsukiko. Then whole aspect of how Lil' Slugger targets people, people in a dilemma, somehow coming out better since the incident. With the detectives following up on the cases trying to catch him. 

 

It's a great show, although being very hard to comprehend. Reminds me of another anime series, being a very confusing mess, and very hard to understand. Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, that anime is very, very confusing. .~.

 

Hmm- it's hard to say, though, I think that having human-like enemies being prevalent in the beginning of the third act but as he sinks deeper in, they shy away and get to being more fantasy like. It would also be neat if there could be a way for him slip out his delusions and you gauge that by how the monsters look. ^^

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Haha! I literally just got done watching Paranoia Agent. Wonderful show, amazing storytelling.
I've been infected with Shonen Bat, now I'm seeing it everywhere <<
(Maybe just because I watched the subs, but it seemed pretty straightforward to me, it's just a shounen o.o;)

 

"Now for my next trick! Watch very carefully... I've split in two!"
Easy right? There's a reason only certain characters show up in the intro/outro sequence.

He was the Great Sage because he understood what the younger detective did. There's really only the first episode and last episode in the anime, the entire point of the algorithms was that humanity is doomed to repetition. They scream it in your face in the first 30 seconds of the series.


But don't think about that. Just relax.
 

Think Jigoku Shoujou... Or Courage the Cowardly Dog xp

And Higurashi is gross gore/torture porn, but I didn't like Gantz either x_x

 

 

In any case, I'm very much looking forward to seeing what you bring here :3 Sounds largely experimental (always fun) and it's not quite Yume Nikki (which I never cared for,) there's a lot of potential in the idea! I think the changing mechanics won't be an issue as long as they're introduced in a user-friendly way. Remember to explain it thoroughly, or no one will understand!

I'm most interested in seeing Will's character development through the acts o; How will he deal?

Edited by Nyapurgisnacht
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I started rewatching P.A. last night and there are a couple more instances with the chalk scratchings; more importantly, the equaliser changes from 510 to 1. I demand answers!

 

Back on topic, since I've got a thread now I will endeavour to keep it updated. I'll probly do a big post each week, so expect the next around the 30th. If I dont feel I've made a worthwhile amount of progress I wont bother until the next week though. I've been, begrudgingly, reworking Act I a lot recently so most of the next update will probly centre around that; I'd like to get back to Act II soon though as its my favourite part ^^ .

 

Thanks again to everyone who has shown an interest :)

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Here comes the dreaded update post. So what have I been up to? Well, mostly tinkering with my ABS, and that tinkering, in turn led to a quite a lot of little bugs. The asterisks. Everything is just about fixed now; there is still one I'm having trouble with but its far from game-breaking.
Anyways, if you look at the screeny below you can see two pretty nifty improvements, one is the green outline indicating the def buff is active, and the other shows that the heal other spell is on cooldown (getting that animation to work was substantially harder than making cooldowns in the first place ¬.¬)
post-42997-0-65904200-1435584021_thumb.png

Other than that I've mostly been bringing Matroyshka (the game within the game... geddit?) to life; there's a lot more sound and animation in the game. I've also been adding a little detail to the maps, but they still suck. Like a baby at the teat.

As a break I populated Act II with some NPCs. I really enjoy making NPCs; they're the protagonists of stories we're not following :)

And that's about it really. Oh, I also wrote a little snippet that lets you quickly reload your save from the gameover screen. Might make it public 'cause its just a little extra functionality that should really already exist in the engine.

You might have also noticed that a few days ago Morgey finished the banner (He did a second one that's a bit fancier but I prefer that one).
It should be bigger, Idk what the deal is there. It also doesn't lead to this page when clicked... If anyone can help with that I'd be incredibly grateful.
 

Like what you see? Let me know below. Don't like what you see? Do the same!

Edited by Tarq
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Use that example:

<url=topic address><img=image address.png></url>

Change <> to []

And you need to upload that picture to image hosting sites (I'm using IMGUR) and then you'll get your address of that picture.

 

Or try to copying this. That somehow works for me. =P

post-42997-0-98787400-1435245183_thumb.p

Edited by Rikifive
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Huzzah! It works!

Thank you for that Rikifive ^.^

 

Edit: It wont work in sigs though 'failed to retrieve image dimensions' or some such, I'll look into it further.

 

Edit2: It works now. Hopefully :lol:

Edited by Tarq
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Quote of Awesomeness:
"If you want to support the project (you darling, you) then just copy/paste '<url=http://www.rpgmakerv...-retrogression/><img=http://imgur.com/dFrSYvB.png></url>'and change the '<' to '[' :)"
 
It's not necessary. :P People can simply highlight the picture (banner) and copy & paste. That works. =)
 
@EDIT
I checked that by myself and you're right. I'm looking into it...

@ EDIT 2
The problem is that, it's not copying image link properly.

When copying picture you're getting: img=http://imgur.com/dFrSYvB.png

And it should be img=http://i.imgur.com/dFrSYvB.png

There is missing "i." before imbur.com.

Try to post that banner again or something... I don't know why is that happening...

 

@ EDIT 3

It's working now. =D

Edited by Rikifive
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Its that time again; another hesitant update. Now where are we?

 

-The last week has seen some serious polishing; lot of playtesting, lots of choreographing the RL sequences, so, so much mapping -.-

(Some of them actually look fairly good at this point, I wish I'd thought to take a screenshot before so I could've done a before/after kind o' thing)

-A few pretty cool additions were made to the MMO mechanics; namely, mp regen, aggro mooks, and mooks now leave visible drops for a couple of secs before respawning. I also added a branching quest that I'm pretty fond of.

-I made use of some of the better rtp music but, ideally, I'll be adding my own in the future.

-I completed my first unique animation the other day. That was pretty groovy.

 

I think that's about it. I should really keep a dev log.

 

Another little bit of news; I'll be releasing a closed demo of the first act within the next week or so. I've already got some candidates in mind, but send me a pm if you'd be interested in participating.

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I'm not very familiar with Megaman (although The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is one of those hidden gems that everyone should play) but I'm happy to hear you've taken a shine to my game ^.^

 

I let a friend play the game today and he gave me a bit of feedback. I also got to watch him play which let me know which parts aren't really intuitive enough.

(He also found a game-crashing bug, which was a little embarrassing T_T)

Anyways, the whole experience will hopefully lead to a substantially better game by the time everyone else gets to play :)

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I'm not very familiar with Megaman (although The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is one of those hidden gems that everyone should play) but I'm happy to hear you've taken a shine to my game ^.^

 

I let a friend play the game today and he gave me a bit of feedback. I also got to watch him play which let me know which parts aren't really intuitive enough.

(He also found a game-crashing bug, which was a little embarrassing T_T)

Anyways, the whole experience will hopefully lead to a substantially better game by the time everyone else gets to play :)

Heh, I see.

 

I know how that feels to see a game-crashing bug; my friend actually tests a game I'm making for me, and I was facepalming when he overwrote the game files in an old version, which was causing music to not play.

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You should be happy, that the bug has been discovered - better your friend, than many other players.

I already broke one RPG game from community when testing (walking on walls). =)

I broke many games, even the bigger ones.

I remember transformers for PS2 - You were on a aircraft carrier fighting with the others. There was an invisible wall on borders of that ship and guess what - I was so badly trying to find a way to get off the ship and sink Bumblebee and I finally did that! I discovered that it is possible to "climb" the invisible wall by jumping intensively and using one specific skill on it in a corner. The invisible wall has limited height, so after climbing some time you were launched to the sea! (and instantly die). Yeah! Bumblebee SUNK!

-OR- If you were doing this slowly, you could get on the top of the wall and watch the ship from above! =)

 

Sm79lYS.png

xY39bSk.png*Bumblebee plays the Titanic scene*

 

 

Bugs ... That's a normal thing, don't worry! =)

Edited by Rikifive

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Hey RMers!

Izu's going to be playing through Act I of Retrogression later on, at 8/9pm EST ( 1/2am GMT, 5/6pm PST). Sorry to inform you on such short notice, but please stop by http://original.livestream.com/izumiki if you're interested in the project, I'd love to hear your feedback.

 

For vanity's sake, I want it known that Izu is not playing the finished product of Act I but I'm just very weary of working on it for the time being. Some of the more advanced intended features (the chatbox, the voice acting) aren't present and I'm not particularly proud of the gameplay, but the story is all there.

 

 

There's no update for this week; I didnt really do much outside of responding to feedback. Expect to see a sizeable update next week regarding the more fun Acts :)

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Eeeesh, I was wanting to watch that livestream actually, but 1/2am is a tad late for me, but I'll see what I can do :)

Having Izu give you feedback from a live test would be a great aid I think :) Would help you plan stuff too if you saw it in action. Give yourself a seat and just take it in :P

 

Whether I get there or not, goodluck with your test. I hope no serious bugs appear and you get some good feedback :)

 

EDIT:

Also just a suggestion.

Instead of having a big face graphic for the game character, can't you add a circled style to it? So the graphic looks like it's in a circle HUD instead of square?

It'll make it look more game-y and have it blend in nicer.

 

Just a suggestion of course - dismiss it if you prefer :)

Edited by Takeo212
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So I'ma push this update out a little earlier than usual; don't worry, there's still plenty of meat on this bone :lol:

 

As suspected, getting back to Act II has really reinvigorated me; its just so much more imaginative and innovative!

You've probably noticed the couple of status updates about my realistic battle system. Its pretty much fully implemented at this point; the only thing I think its missing is the ability to select the enemy directly, rather than a name in a box.

 

I've been having a lot of fun creating the non-lethal weaponry and items too. Way more entertaining than actually trying to kill your target ^.^

Here's a taste of some of the weapons and items:

-Taser: The taser is my favourite weapon so far. Not only can it shoot its cartridge requiring reloading but it also has a close range attack that can be used without the cartridge at an increased charge cost. Its a little OP but its hard to get ahold of and requires more maintenance than other items (both batteries and cartridges).

-Sting Grenades: The flavour text says it all; 'May not hit the target, may hit the user; who knows?'

-Pepper Spray: causes temporary blindness and hurts a little to boot. Runs out after a set no. of uses.

-Boomerang: Too novel not to include. It can only be thrown once per battle until its mastered, unlocking the infamous double-hitting return throw.

-Stones: stones can be found lying around so they're pretty much the only method of attack that doesn't rely on the player's wallet in some form or another. When the slingshot is aquired it can launch stones with greater damage and accuracy, and also has a volley skill (fires three stones in one turn at reduced accuracy).

 

All of this lead to creating a new map that I was hesitant to before; Luther's Guns. Luther's become a great character to play around with since he's not amoral or even apathetic as he looms around his dingy store; business is just business. He wont sell the player guns since they don't have a licence. He does, however, keep this stock of non-lethal weaponry for the discerning customer.

 

I've also implemented my weapon durability system. So far this only affects the main weapon, the Stick, and I'll probably keep it that way since it may be going overboard otherwise. Maybe I'll apply it to armour too.

 

I'd like to make a trailer of the battle system and maybe a couple of the directly related systems, so if anyone knows much about screen capture/recording software, please let me know.

As ever, I'm always interested in hearing the community's feedback and opinions. Also, a special thank you to all the people who attended Izu's stream the other day ^.^

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Aww, no baseball bat to pummel people with and contains durability?

Dang, I would love to beat a-holes with it ingame! :D

I do however really want a boomerang...

Please make a bow with like sticky arrows or something! (Loves bows <3)

 

In honesty though, I saw the updates on the front page. Looking good~

After the ending to act I, i'm really curious as to what happens next! 

 

EDIT:

I was joking about the bow btw, but I do like the slingshot idea too~

Edited by Takeo212

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